Chandigarh – The Punjab government onMonday decided to recommend to the Centre to provide for death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers. The decision to make the recommendation to the Centre was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The Cabinet also decided to constitute a special Working Group under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Home, NS Kalsi to review and monitor, on a day-to-day basis, the action being taken to check and control drug abuse. “The drug peddling is destroying entire generations and it deserves exemplary punishment,” said Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.The special Working Group constituted to review and update the Government strategy against drugs will have ACS, Health, Satish Chandra, DGP, Intelligence, Dinkar Gupta, ADGP, Law and Order, Ishwar Singh and ADGP, STF, HS Sidhu as members. A cabinet sub-committee has also been formed under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, with the special Working Group mandated to report directly to it. Health and Family Welfare Minister and Social Security Minister have been appointed Members of the sub-committee, which will meet once a week to take stock of the situation and review the progress of the anti-drug campaign of the government.The formal meeting was preceded by informal discussions, during which senior Home Department and Punjab Police officers briefed the Cabinet members, who were also joined by PPCC president Sunil Jakhar. During the discussions, the Chief Minister ordered DGP Suresh Arora to intensify the police crackdown on the drug menace. The Chief Minister also directed the DGP to go all out against drug smugglers and peddlers, making it clear that no complacency on the issue would be tolerated. The Cabinet took stock of the cases of deaths resulting from drug overdose, which STF chief HS Sidhu admitted to be a matter of concern.
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